In news– The Kohima War Cemetery in Nagaland has figured in the U.K based Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) five sites with unusual features.
About Kohima War Cemetery-
- It is a memorial dedicated to soldiers of the 2nd British Division of the Allied Forces who died in the Second World War at Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, India, in April 1944.
- As per CWGC, Kohima War Cemetery has a feature that is possibly not shared by any other cemetery in the world, that is a tennis court.
- It is one of 23,000 World War graves across the continents maintained by the CWGC.
- Present-day Nagaland and adjoining Manipur comprised the only theatre of World War II in the Indian subcontinent.
- On April 3, 1944, a Japanese force of 15,000 had attacked Kohima and its 2,500 strong garrison.
- Those who had fallen in the defence of Kohima were buried on the battlefield, which later became a permanent CWGC cemetery.
- Designer Colin St. Clair Oakes incorporated the tennis court into the design of the cemetery.
- The other four unusual sites listed by CWGC are the World War I “crater cemeteries” – Zivy Crater and Litchfield Crater – in the Pas de Calais region in France ((These craters were caused by mine explosions).
- Another site listed is the Nicosia (Waynes Keep) Cemetery or the “cemetery in no man’s land” in Cyprus, requiring the presence of armed guards, because the cemetery is on the border of a patch of land disputed between the southern and northern parts of the island since the 1970s.
About Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC)-
- It is an intergovernmental organisation of six member-states.
- It was founded by Sir Fabian Ware and constituted through Royal Charter in 1917 as the Imperial War Graves Commission, later in 1960s changed its name as CWGC.
- Its principal function is to mark, record and maintain the graves and places of commemoration of Commonwealth of Nations military service members who died in the two World Wars.
- It is also responsible for commemorating Commonwealth civilians who died as a result of enemy action during the Second World War.